Thursday, 24 July 2014

CM/FM All-Time Best First XI: Striker

This is it! The big one has arrived baby, and when all the dust has cleared this is the vote that matters. The most memorable of all legendary CM/FM players are those who grabbed the headlines with 50+ goals a season; sending you into a Championship and Football Manager wonderland.

I had to be strict with this list as at one point I must have had 35 players jotted down. I'm sure some of those players I've cut will have a real sentimental value to some of you, but like a real football manager I had to be ruthless, but I believe this is a strong shortlist of the very best strikers in Champ Man.

Let's get cracking and start with a bang in Championship Manager 97/98 where the Didier Drogba of his time was scoring goals for fun. Ibrahima Bakayoko was the Yakubu lookalike from Marseille who practically lived in the back of the net such was his way of driving the ball home. Everton - who a couple of years ago had an agreement in place with Sports Interactive to use the game's database for scouting purposes - brought Bakayoko to the Premier League and he promptly stunk up the place and has since made his way across Europe from Spain to Italy to Greece. 

In Championship Manager 3 Andri Sigporsson was the Icelandic striker with a killer instinct in front of goal and a ludicrously low price tag for such a goal machine. Despite being part of the Bayern Munich youth set-up, Sigporsson was always going to find it tough to get anywhere near his CM3 goal scoring exploits.

Football Manager, Championship Manager, FM. CM, Best XI, Best Striker, Best Forward, Best Attacker, Andri Sigporsson

The man they called Zlatan took centre stage in CM 99/01. No, not that Zlatan, I'm talking about Zlatan Muslimovic. The Zlatan we all know and love so much wasn't actually that good on the game so you opted for Muslimovic instead who you could pick up on the cheap from Sweden. To be fair, I guess their names sound similar so it could have been an honest mistake. While one Zlatan went on to play for some of the biggest clubs in the world, our Zlatan seemed to go on loan to nearly every club in Serie A after signing for Udinese, and now plays in China for Guizhou Renhe F.C.

Chucks Nwoko and Javier Saviola were legends in Championship Manager 00/01. You could pick Nwoko up fairly easily from Birkirkara in the Maltese league, but Saviola was a different proposition as Barcelona were not in any mood to let their wonderkid leave. For me, if you had to choose between the two on the game then Saviola would win hands down every time. He was as good as Lionel Messi on the game and scored a bagful of goals. But despite playing at some great clubs across Europe since leaving Barca (Monaco, Real Madrid, Benfica), Saviola has never made it to the next level and is now at Olympiacos. As for Nwoko, the highest profile club he has ever played for is CSKA Sofia on loan.

We were spoilt for choice in Championship Manager 01/02 and no fewer than five strikers make the shortlist from that wonderful game! Here we go: Justin Georcelin, Maxim Tsigalko, Cherno Samba, Tó Madeira and Anastasios Skalidis. Wow, where do you even start with that lot?! Each player has their own fascinating story as to why they never quite lived up to the hype.

Football Manager, Championship Manager, FM. CM, Best XI, Best Striker, Best Forward, Best Attacker, Cherno Samba

At 17, Georcelin was at Northampton Town and many predicted a bright future for the explosive striker. But after falling in with the wrong crowd and developing a £500 crack cocaine addiction, Georcelin was sentenced to prison for his part in a spree of violent attacks and robberies on local taxi drivers.

Tsigalko was voted the best ever player on the game in a poll I posted on my blog recently and it is easy to see why. For the fee of £2m you could buy the Belarus international from Dinamo Minsk and end up with a striker who would easily bag himself close to a 100 goals per season! Of course, the real life version of events was nothing like that and Tsigalko retired at 26 due to injury.

Cherno Samba is a man who needs no introduction to the CM/FM community. The teenage prodigy could be bought from Millwall and scored goals for fun. He's moved around quite a bit in his career and at the age of 28 he is currently without a club.

Madeira was absolutely lethal and completely fictional! The Portuguese goal machine was the brainchild of one of the games developers who created the player and named him after himself! And Anastasios Skalidis is a player I literally can't find any information on apart from stories from fans about his in-game goal-scoring exploits! I have no idea if he was real or not, although some fans claim he was a 'bug' player. Whatever he was he knew where the back of the net was!

Now we move into the final straight with Moses Ashikodi from Championship Manager 4. You'd have thought those guys at Sports Interactive would have learned their lesson with young strikers at Millwall, but they did it again with Ashikodi who was amazing in the game. In real life he has played for far too many clubs for me to list here but his current club is Cray Wanderers which tells its own story really!

Football Manager, Championship Manager, FM. CM, Best XI, Best Striker, Best Forward, Best Attacker, Moses Ashikodi, To Madeira

Championship Manager 03/04 brought us the talents of Anatoli Todorov and Evandro Roncatto; two players who would lead your line for many a season. Todorov has always played his football in Eastern Europe and Roncatto has played in various minor European and South American leagues.

Nicolas Millan was the 14-year-old sensation from Chile in FM07 and was likened to Cristiano Ronaldo. We all bought him from Colo Colo and watched him blossom into a world class striker, but it was completely opposite in real life and he is now at Curicó Unido in the second tier of Chilean football.

A similar story could be said of Bojan Krkić in FM08 who was destined to be one of the greats with Barcelona. Even though he has one cap to his name for Spain, his career stalled and despite loans spells at Milan and Ajax, he will be turning out next season for Stoke City.

HOUSE RULES
1. PLEASE VOTE ONCE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE CM/FM STRIKER
2. YOUR FAVOURITE PLAYER MIGHT BE MISSING BECAUSE THEY FEATURE IN A DIFFERENT POSITION IN THIS VOTE
3. IF YOU SELECT "OTHER" THEN PLEASE POST THE NAME OF YOUR PLAYER IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW
4. POST YOUR STORIES AND MEMORIES ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITE CM/FM STRIKER
5. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE MAIN CM/FM BEST XI BLOG POST
6. VOTES FOR ALL POSITIONS CLOSE ON OCTOBER 31, 2014 
7. PLEASE HELP PROMOTE THE VOTE BY POSTING THIS LINK IN FORUMS AND ON SOCIAL MEDIA  

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CM/FM All-Time Best First XI: Left-Wing

A good left peg is a hard thing to find, but when you find it you should cherish it forever. Or something like that, but maybe in a tone which makes me sound a little less weird and obsessive about Football Manager.

But I digress. The problem with the AMC/R/L role is that there were so many brilliant players who were inter-changeable across your midfield attack that I’m sure some of the players I’ve already listed in the AMR and AMC votes were the guys you selected to drive your attack down that left flank.

But in saying that I believe I’ve put together a list worthy of that left wing position. Way back with Championship Manager 93 there were three stand-out players for me – Joey Beauchamp, Scott Oakes and Mark Pembridge. Back when foreign players in England were still in the minority, signing Beauchamp – a player that could operate centrally or on the left – was a bit like signing a foreigner. Well, he sounded French at least, and you could snap him up from Oxford United. In real life he played at West Ham but eventually ended back at Oxford.

Oakes was a bit of a legend at Luton Town and it was an FA Cup performance against West Ham back in the 90s that caught everyone’s eye. He was a tricky winger and fulfilled his potential in CM93 but after a move to Sheffield Wednesday in 1996 his career took a bit of a nosedive. Pembridge probably had the most successful career out of the three playing for Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday, Benfica, Everton and Fulham, but in CM93 he had his pick of clubs to play for

Football Manager, Championship Manager, FM. CM, Best XI, Best Attacking Midfielder, Best Left Winger, Best AML, Joey Beauchamp

Both Simon Davies and Gareth Jellyman have already featured in previous votes so it won't come as a total surprise that the final piece of the Championship Manager 3 jigsaw, Matthew Etherington, is in the list for best left winger.Etherington was meant to be the left winger England were crying out for and in the game he filled that role very comfortably. In real life he faced a gambling addiction which couldn't have helped his career which included spells at Tottenham and West Ham, and now Stoke City.

Leeds United were spending money like it was going out of fashion at the end of the 90s and assembled a fantastic squad, which included a number of promising young players. One of those was Stephen McPhail who fulfilled that potential in Championship Manager 99/00 but it wasn't to be back in the real world. After leaving Leeds his career has largely been spent in the Championship with Barnsley, Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesday.

Football Manager, Championship Manager, FM. CM, Best XI, Best Attacking Midfielder, Best Left Winger, Best AML, Alexander Farnerud

There must be something Sports Interactive put in the Swedish water because another couple of great CM/FM stars from that region was Alexander Farnerud and Stefan Ishizaki. In Championship Manager 01/02, both were typical Champ Man Scandinavian bargain buys; Farnerud from Landskrona and Ishizaki from AIK. Spells at Stuttgart and Torino was as good as it got for Farnerud, while Ishizaki played in Sweden and Norway, and is now finishing his career at LA Galaxy.

The main man of Championship Manager 4 was arguably the Finnish wonderkid Mika Ääritalo. Capable of playing in multiple positions in attack, Ääritalo was available on the cheap from TPS Turku. The player was a must-buy as he would create and score goals at ease and remains an iconic name within the CM/FM community. Aston Villa beat off a host of top clubs to sign him in 2003 but in three years he failed to make a single appearance and was shipped back to TPS Turku.

Football Manager, Championship Manager, FM. CM, Best XI, Best Attacking Midfielder, Best Left Winger, Best AML, Mika Aaritalo

Three great CM/FM left wingers starred in Championship Manager 03/04. First up is Lionel Morgan who you could sign from Wimbledon, then Norwegian superstar Jan Kristiansen was a steal from Esbjerg, and last by by no means least, US teen sensation Freddy Adu from DC United who would most definitely become of the greatest players in the world.

Injury stopped Morgan's career at the age of 21 and he now runs a management company, Infinite Sports Management, with former teammate Jobi McAnuff. Kristiansen spent a couple of seasons with German outfit FC Nürnberg but is now playing in the Danish league. And then we have Adu, who was dubbed the next Pelé at 14, was unable to cope with the media pressure and could only manage a trial at Manchester United and one season with Benfica before he was forced back to the MLS to rebuild his career and is now playing for Bahia in the Brazilian league.

Football Manager, Championship Manager, FM. CM, Best XI, Best Attacking Midfielder, Best Left Winger, Best AML, Freddy Adu

The final two players come from Football Manager 2008. Henri Saivet was touted as the next Thierry Henry in France and if you could stump up enough cash to get Bordeaux to part with their man, then you had a player who could play in attacking roles down both flanks and through the middle. But he never quite reached the levels of va va voom to the point where he has even decided not to pursue playing international football for France and has since turned out a few times for Senegal (the country of his birth).

Pablo Piatti completes the list. The Argentinean winger with an Italian passport could be signed from Estudiantes and would cause most right-backs havoc. Back in the real world Piatti has carved out a decent career in La Liga, first at Almeria and now at Valencia, but with just one international cap to his name he has a long way to go to match his world class Football Manager status.

HOUSE RULES
1. PLEASE VOTE ONCE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE CM/FM LEFT WINGER
2. YOUR FAVOURITE PLAYER MIGHT BE MISSING BECAUSE THEY FEATURE IN A DIFFERENT POSITION IN THIS VOTE
3. IF YOU SELECT "OTHER" THEN PLEASE POST THE NAME OF YOUR PLAYER IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW
4. POST YOUR STORIES AND MEMORIES ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITE CM/FM LEFT WINGER
5. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE MAIN CM/FM BEST XI BLOG POST
6. VOTES FOR ALL POSITIONS CLOSE ON OCTOBER 31, 2014 
7. PLEASE HELP PROMOTE THE VOTE BY POSTING THIS LINK IN FORUMS AND ON SOCIAL MEDIA 

Click here to vote for your favourite CM/FM 
attacking midfielder
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striker

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

CM/FM All-Time Best First XI: Attacking Midfielder

As Marcus Burnett said in Bad Boys II - 'Shit just got real!' This might just be the toughest vote of them all. Three or four players in this list could easily make a challenge for the best player in the game ever, never mind having to fight it out over just one position – the AMC role.

One of those players who could easily walk into any CM/FM team in any version of the game is Nii Lamptey. Available from the ‘foreign transfer market’ on Championship Manager 93 from Belgium, the 19-year-old from Ghana was so good that he was dubbed the next Pelé, which is fine unless it is Pelé who is doing the endorsing. The Brazilian legend has a knack of getting his predictions wrong (see Freddy Adu).

Lamptey was the first real cult hero of CM/FM. After a tough childhood where he was abused and neglected by his parents, Lamptey was then abused by those responsible for guiding his career as agents and money men tossed him around from club to club (including spells in England for Aston Villa and Coventry City) just to line their own pockets. 

Although Lamptey never became Pelé’s ‘natural successor’ he did take the positives from his love of the game to open a school and training academy in his homeland which is now thriving and doing some very good work.

Football Manager, Championship Manager, FM. CM, Best XI, Best Attacking Midfielder, Best Midfielder, Best AMC, Nii Lamptey

Another player from CM93 who seemingly had the world at his feet was Billy Kenny. Dubbed the ‘Goodison Gazza’ by Peter Beardsley after a scintillating performance in the Merseyside Derby, Kenny could have gone all the way and was an excellent midfield general on the computer screen. But his real life demons would wreck his football career as he was sacked from Everton for substance abuse. A brief spell with Oldham Athletic didn't help put him on the straight and narrow and he is commonly recognised as one of the biggest waste of talents in the British game.

Willie Howie was maybe the best player of a randomly superb Partick Thistle team in Championship Manager 3 alongside Alan Archibald and Robert Dunn. Howie was the driving force from midfield, chipping in with goals and assists and generally making your team tick. These days the team he makes tick is called Pollock, which last time I checked was a fish.

A couple of real corkers turned up in Championship Manager 99/00 by the names of Kim Kallstrom and Kevin Street. As fans of CM/FM, for years we have been waiting for Kallstrom to live up to the player we all know so well and then last season he finally arrived in the Premier League with Arsenal and… did very little to be honest. He had a good spell with Lyon, but that doesn’t really compare to the spell he had with Barcelona in the computer game now does it? As for Street, he could be plucked from Crewe Alexandra and become your very own Frank Lampard for many a year. In reality Street dropped down the leagues from Stafford Rangers to Altrincham, and now Alsager Town. 

Next up is a player who needs no introduction other than the fact if I don’t introduce him you won’t know who I’m talking about, so step forward and take a bow Tonton Zola Moukoko, or as he is known in some circles, Mr Championship Manager. You don’t even need to have played Championship Manager 01/02 to know who this guy is. He was quite simply, spectacular.  But in real life he was quite simply, well, not very good. He apparently turned down moves to AC Milan and Juventus to move to Derby County and from there he played for a bunch of teams no one has ever heard of.

Football Manager, Championship Manager, FM. CM, Best XI, Best Attacking Midfielder, Best Midfielder, Best AMC, Tonton Zola Moukoko

Orri Freyr Oskarsson also featured in CM 01/02, but is it even worth me making a case for him after the likes of Lamptey and Moukoko? Okay, I guess I should seeing as this guy’s name crops up a lot on fan forums but the problem is I can’t find much more than that. He doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page so he must have been really bad in real life! From what I can gather the Icelandic winger was a bargain if you had missed out on Moukoko.

The final player from CM 01/02 was Andres D'Alessandro who was great because you could snap the Argentinean up from River Plate without any work permit issues because of his dual Italian nationality. A gifted midfielder whose real career saw him play in Germany (Wolfsburg), England (Portsmouth) and Spain (Zaragoza) but without any of the success he’d have in CM/FM.

In Championship Manager 4 Jamie McMaster was a top notch midfielder from Leeds, and in the same version you could also pick up the next big thing in French footballer from Le Havre if you signed Anthony Le Tallec (and his partner in crime Florent Sinama-Pongolle). McMaster ended up going back to his homeland in Australia after things didn’t work out in England while Le Tallec (and Sinama-Pongolle) both went to Liverpool and both left without having made an impact in England. Let Tallec now turns out for Valenciennes FC in Ligue 2.

It was a similar story for Giovanni Dos Santos who in Football Manager 2005 was at Barcelona and constantly became one of the greatest players in the game. When things didn’t work out with the Catalan giants he went to Tottenham where he was equally unsuccessful and is now back in La Liga with Villreal.

One of my favourite players in the same edition of FM05 was Lebohang Mokoena. The first thing you’d do is raid Orlando Pirates for Mokoena and defensive midfielder Benedict Vilakazi for an absolute steal at around £2m for both players and you’d dominate European football. In real life Mokoena has never played outside of South Africa and for the past five seasons he has been at Mamelodi Sundowns.

Football Manager, Championship Manager, FM. CM, Best XI, Best Attacking Midfielder, Best Midfielder, Best AMC, Lebohang Mokoena

Brazilian Kerlon (FM07) was an attacking midfield maestro; famous for his seal dribble at Cruzeiro where he would run while bouncing the ball on top of his head at the same time. It’s a skill that didn’t really translate onto CM/FM and whenever he did it in real life he tended to get a smack for his efforts. He can now be found doing his showboating in Japan for Fujieda MYFC.

The final name on the list is Rangers hot prospect John Fleck. Well, he was a hot prospect when he first made an appearance in Football Manager 2008. These days he is more of a decent youngster for Coventry City who he joined after Rangers were relegated to the bottom tier of Scottish football for financial irregularities.

HOUSE RULES
1. PLEASE VOTE ONCE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE CM/FM ATTACKING MIDFIELDER
2. YOUR FAVOURITE PLAYER MIGHT BE MISSING BECAUSE THEY FEATURE IN A DIFFERENT POSITION IN THIS VOTE
3. IF YOU SELECT "OTHER" THEN PLEASE POST THE NAME OF YOUR PLAYER IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW
4. POST YOUR STORIES AND MEMORIES ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITE CM/FM ATTACKING MIDFIELDER
5. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE MAIN CM/FM BEST XI BLOG POST
6. VOTES FOR ALL POSITIONS CLOSE ON OCTOBER 31, 2014 
7. PLEASE HELP PROMOTE THE VOTE BY POSTING THIS LINK IN FORUMS AND ON SOCIAL MEDIA 

Click here to vote for your favourite CM/FM 
right winger
Click here to vote for your favouriteCM/FM
left winger

CM/FM All-Time Best First XI: Right Winger

What do David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery all have in common? That's right, they are not fit to lace the boots of Kennedy Bakircioglu, Fabio Paim or Mads Jørgensen. Now we’re talking proper AMR’s – Football Manager style.

We’re now entering the realm of the attacking players in this part of the vote, which is what we’ve all really been waiting for. Yes, finding an unknown defender like Anthony Vanden Borre was great, but it doesn’t even come close to the levels of excitement you felt when you found that one player who was going to light up your computer screens with assists and goals galore!

In Championship Manager 93, I fondly remember Julian Joachim being the main man. His preferred position was up front, but you’re the boss so he’ll play where you want him to dammit and he was equally adapt at playing out wide on the right. In the game you could pick him up from Leicester City and the player I like to describe as the youngest man with the oldest face I’d ever seen could be incredible.

Joachim enjoyed spells at Aston Villa, Coventry City and Leeds United in real life, but he was never the player we knew he could be. He's still playing now at 39 for Oadby Town. Exactly, I have no idea either.

Simon Davies is a player Tottenham, Everton and Fulham fans will be familiar with, but fans of Championship Manager 3 will have the fondest memories of the Welsh winger. Alongside his Peterborough teammates Matthew Etherington and Gareth Jellyman, you just had to buy Davies and watch as he became the next Ryan Giggs.The truth is he was probably just on par with Giggy's left arm.

Championship Manager 99/00 delivers us three of arguably the best right wingers ever to have graced our computer screens. Mads Jørgensen, Sharbel Touma and Kennedy Bakircioglu are names that if you don’t know, quite frankly you are not a fan of the game! All could be snapped up for peanuts in the grand scheme of things and all three would deliver you assists on a plate. Jørgensen spent his whole career in Scandanavia, Touma spent time in the Eredivisie and Bundesliga, and Bakircioglu I simply have a bit of a man crush on. Oh, and he spent some time at Ajax but he was never the player I bought from Hammarby all those years ago. Ah, good times…

Football Manager, Championship Manager, FM. CM, Best XI, Best Attacking Midfielder, Best Midfielder, Best AMR, Best Right Winger, Kennedy Bakircioglu

There are some players who you won’t believe have Premier League medals in real life. Luke Chadwick would be one of those players, but if you went by his CM 00/01 career then it wouldn’t come as a surprise at all. Chadwick was another one of those Manchester United players we expected to be great because Scholes and co had been amazing 10 years earlier. Unfortunately for Chadwick he floated around at various clubs at home before a five-year stint at MK Dons. He’s now playing for Cambridge United.

Three players make the list from Championship Manager 01/02. Richie Partridge was meant to be the next big thing at Liverpool, Julius Aghahowa is another one of those CM/FM players who are given super human powers simply due to the fact they play for Shakhtar Donetsk, and Stefan Selakovic was a classic Champ Man Swedish superstar. None were able to achieve the glory they achieved when we were managing them. Partridge never kicked a ball in a league game for Liverpool and has fallen down the footballing ladder and is now at Airbus UK Broughton, Aghahowa spent a season at Wigan before finishing his career back at Shakhtar where he presumably regained his super powers, and Selakovic only managed three seasons outside of Sweden with Heerenveen in Holland.

Football Manager, Championship Manager, FM. CM, Best XI, Best Attacking Midfielder, Best Midfielder, Best AMR, Best Right Winger, Fabio Paim

Fabio Paim is a classic Championship Manager wonderkid. He was just 14 at the start of Championship Manager 4 and was an essential free signing that would see him become a first team regular by 16. Luis Felipe Scolari signed Paim on loan when he first arrived at Chelsea, but maybe we should have taken that as some sort of sign seeing as how Scolari’s tenure at the Bridge ended up. Sadly for Paim, at 26 he has only ever made a handful of appearances for the 13 clubs he has played for and alas has a touch of the Sonny Pike’s about him.

Daniel Braaten was the man we turned to in Championship Manager 03/04. He had everything you wanted from a wide man – pace, skill, and the ability to dribble past his 2D opponents at ease. In real life he has travelled about and played in Norway (Rosenborg), England (Bolton Wanderers), France (Toulouse), and now in Sweden (F.C. Copenhagen).

The next player on the list is Sherman Cardenas who for the life of me I can’t remember as a gamer, but I found a whole lot of love for him online. I am now starting to wonder what the hell I was doing in 2007 because to have missed out on a player of this quality seems criminal. He was that good in the game that even Tim Vickery wrote in his column on the BBC that the Sherminator (as fans like to call him) suffered as a result of the expectation put on his shoulders and cited the high stats on FM as an example. Despite early promise, Cardenas continues to ply his trade in the Colombian league.

Football Manager, Championship Manager, FM. CM, Best XI, Best Attacking Midfielder, Best Midfielder, Best AMR, Best Right Winger, Sherman Cardenas

In Football Manager 2008, Alex Teixeira was the Brazilian left winger you would almost always try to raid Vasco for. I am guessing that the board over at Shakhtar Donetsk were aware of his FM potential and therefore snapped him up in real life in 2010, and guess what – he’s not as good as we thought.

The final two players are young Dutch stars who could yet live up to their FM names. Georginio Wijnaldum you could argue is on his way after appearing for the Dutch at the World Cup, but he still has some way to go before he becomes that kid with the dreads that we had to sign in FM09. And we all tried to sign Luc Castaignos in FM10 from Feyenoord and it even looked as though he could be about to make that step-up when Inter bought him in 2011. But it didn’t work out and he was back in the Eredivisie a season later with Twente.

HOUSE RULES
1. PLEASE VOTE ONCE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE CM/FM RIGHT WINGER 
2. YOUR FAVOURITE PLAYER MIGHT BE MISSING BECAUSE THEY FEATURE IN A DIFFERENT POSITION IN THIS VOTE
3. IF YOU SELECT "OTHER" THEN PLEASE POST THE NAME OF YOUR PLAYER IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW
4. POST YOUR STORIES AND MEMORIES ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITE CM/FM RIGHT WINGER
5. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE MAIN CM/FM BEST XI BLOG POST
6. VOTES FOR ALL POSITIONS CLOSE ON OCTOBER 31, 2014 
7. PLEASE HELP PROMOTE THE VOTE BY POSTING THIS LINK IN FORUMS AND ON SOCIAL MEDIA 

Click here to vote for your favourite CM/FM 
DMC/CM
Click here to vote for your favourite CM/FM
attacking midfielder

Stjarnan FC - the kings of goal celebrations!

Goal celebrations have come a long way since the days of the Alan Shearer one hand up in the air routine, but Icelandic football club Stjarnan FC have taken it to a whole another level!

Stjarnan FC, goal celebrations, best football celebrations, football, funny, Iceland
This collection of their best goal celebrations is quite simply awesome. They clearly put as much effort into their celebration routines as they do on their tactics on the training ground. Wait until you get to The Birth - pure genius...

Monday, 21 July 2014

CM/FM All-Time Best First XI: Defensive Midfielder/Central Midfielder

So this category states defensive midfielder but includes players who played in the central midfield role as well as oppose to attacking midfielders who we'll get to later, got it? Good!

In which case we'll start with Championship Manager 93 and two players who were very much central midfielders in Austin Berkley and Mark Draper. Berkley was with Swindon who happened to be in the Premier League back in 93/94 (yes, it was that long ago!) while Notts County were banging on the play-off door in the league previously known as Division One. If memory serves me correctly, it was Draper who was more expensive of the two, which in real world terms is probably fair enough seeing as Berkley only ever made one league appearance for Swindon before dropping down the leagues with the likes of Shrewsbury and Barnet, while Draper at least turned out for Leicester City and Aston Villa.

Tommy Svindal Larsen was called an 'absolute beast' in an article in The Guardian newspaper back in 2008 which looked at six of the greatest names from the CM/FM series. Larsen popped up in Championship Manager 97/98 and was an steal from Norwegian club Stabaek. A must-buy for most computer managers but in the real world the best he managed was a four-season spell with FC Nürnberg.

The legend of Seth Johnson couldn't be more different when comparing his computer generated career and his actual career. In both universes he was regarded as a huge prospect; the main difference being when you forked out a big transfer fee and high wages in CM 99/00 he was awesome at the heart of your midfield, but when he signed for Leeds United it didn't quite work out like that.The story goes that Johnson's agent went in with the agenda to secure his man a maximum of £13,000 per week but when free-spending Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale offered £30,000 - which rendered Johnson and his agent stunned - Ridsdale upped the offer to £37,000 as his final offer believing their silence was a negotiation tactic. And that is probably the story Johnson is best known for as his time at Leeds didn't work out and he was eventually shipped back to Derby County.

Football Manager, Championship Manager, FM. CM, Best XI, Best Defensive Midfielder, Best Midfielder, Best DMC, Seth Johnson

Another legend from Championship Manager 99/00 is Dean Keates. Described by footballfancast.com as an 'all-action midfield dynamo a la Steven Gerrard', Keates was a real bargain from Wallsall. Today Keates can be found playing in the Blue Square Premier for Wrexham where he has been for the past four years.

We move to Championship Manager 01/02 next and Liverpool prodigy John Welsh, a player who could be the linchpin of your midfield for many years to come. It wasn't always easy to get Liverpool to part with their wonderkid, which wasn't the case in real life where he was sold to Hull City after just four league appearances for the Merseyside club and can now be seen down at Deepdale with Preston North End.

Mark Kerr was the Scottish legend who gave a nation hope that they had found a new Graeme Souness. For a teenager, his stats for teamwork, determination, and workrate were remarkably high at the start of the CM4 version and you'd have been a fool not to snap him up from Falkirk. But Kerr never reached his CM potential and is probably best known for that dreadful backpass in the Scottish Cup Final against Rangers.

Football Manager, Championship Manager, FM. CM, Best XI, Best Defensive Midfielder, Best Midfielder, Best DMC, Mark Kerr

In CM 03/04 Fredy Williams Thompson put Guatemala on the football map as he would boss any midfield in any league should you opt to send your scouts to Central America. In the real world, no one took a punt on Thompson which I guess means no club was willing to send their scouts south of Mexico. Either that or he was actually really crap.

Two real Football Manager gems in my eyes are up next. Benedict Vilakazi is a player I always made a swoop for along with his Orland Pirates teammate Lebohang Mokoena. You could snap the pair up (work permits permitting) for less than £2m and have your defensive and offensive options sorted out for a decade. Vilakazi's career high was a brief spell in Sweden with AaB Aalborg, but now he is at Botswana Meat Commission. I have no idea if that is a football club or a supermarket.

Fredy Guarin also featured in FM05 and was an awesome player at £1m from Envigado. In my opinion Guarin is on the verge of tipping the scales in terms of losing the tag of an amazing FM player who hasn't lived up to his in-game performances. He was part of a very good Colombia squad at the World Cup and rumours have circulated recently that he could be leaving Inter for Serie A champions Juventus. But for now, we'll keep him in this vote - just!

Football Manager, Championship Manager, FM. CM, Best XI, Best Defensive Midfielder, Best Midfielder, Best DMC, Fredy Guarin

Three players make the list from FM06 with Steffen Hofmann, Nik Besagno and Hedwiges Maduro. Hoffman seems a popular choice on FM community forums such as The Dugout, and Besagno was an impressive youngster you could pluck from the MLS in the United States. Maduro is my pick as I remember taking a gamble on him from Ajax for around £8m and he didn't let me down. In the real world? Hoffman started at the top with Bayern Munich but ended up with Rapid Vienna, Besagno has never left the US and Maduro had a decent career in La Liga with Valencia and Sevilla but is now in the Greek league with PAOK.

Another double entry and another couple of nearly men who could yet prove us all wrong. In Football Manager 2008 everyone went after Boca Juniors Éver Banega who was available at a very fair price for a player of his quality. And in the same game we started to see the emergence of Miguel Veloso, who you would try to sign in a double swoop at Sporting CP alongside teammate João Moutinho. Banega struggled to make an impact at Valencia which didn't help when he did a Brian Harvey and managed to run himself over in 2012, breaking his ankle and leg in the process. Velos hasn't quite kicked on like Moutinho has and is now playing for Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine. It could have been all so different had Bolton been able to come up with the funds to buy him in 2009..

Football Manager, Championship Manager, FM. CM, Best XI, Best Defensive Midfielder, Best Midfielder, Best DMC, Ever Banega

The last player on this is Lorenzo Crisetig from FM10; a player who still does great things in the proceeding versions of the game but the 21-year-old is still to make a league appearance for Inter and keeps getting farmed out on loan. In Football Manager he is a regular for Real Madrid already.

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left-back
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right winger

50 Things that happened in the 90s that will make you feel old! Part 1...

The 90s, 1990s, Funny, Pictures than make you feel old,
It pains me that I now work with people who were born in the 1990s. It means that no matter how much I fight it, I am now old. When I was doing my GCSE's, they were pooping in their nappies.It's a sobering thought, but what makes it worse is their blank faces when you mention something that happened in that golden decade. Suddenly you have become your parents and the world as you know it is over.

Why should I be the only one to suffer? If I am going to feel old, then you are going to feel my pain with me. So sit back and enjoy this trip down memory lane and when you're done reach for the zimmer frame and accept that it's all downhill from here...

50. The Box - the music channel we controlled...
Other than MTV The Box was the only other music channel. You'd sit there for ages hoping the three numbers being punched in the bottom of the screen by users around the country was for Slam by Onyx but more often than not it would be that greasy Mexican dude Rico Suave.


49. Back in the day Beyoncé was not the Goddess she is today...
Long before she was Crazy In Love she looked like this. And who bloody remembered that there were four of them in the old days?!

Destiney's Child, Beyonce, The 90s, 1990s, Funny, Pictures than make you feel old,


48. Gillian Anderson was the hottest woman in the world...
Twenty-one years ago Dana Scully partnered up with Fox Mulder to solve supernatural crimes in the X Files. Then she got her kit off in FHM in 1996 and we all started looking at her a little differently.

Gillian Anderson, X Files, The 90s, 1990s, Funny, Pictures than make you feel old,


47. Two decades ago PJ was blinded...
Long before Ant and Dec became the multiple Bafta award winning duo they are today, we knew them as PJ & Duncan and it was back in 1992 that this scene shocked a nation in Biker Grove.



46. This is the kid from Jerry Maguire...
Jonathan Lipnicki told us all in 1996 that the human head weighs eight pounds. Now he looks like he could rip your head off.

Jerry Maguire, Jonathan Lpinicki, The 90s, 1990s, Funny, Pictures than make you feel old,


45. Bill Clinton did not have sexual relations with this woman...
The US President denied having an affair with Monica Lewinsky in 1998 and tabloids went wild over what he did or didn't do with a cigar.

Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, The 90s, 1990s, Funny, Pictures than make you feel old,


44. It was 22 years ago that we were serious as cancer when we said Rhythm is Dancer...
In 1992 our charts featured music from German dance groups like Snap! who topped the hit parade (that's what we called in then) with this classic tune!


 
43. The Nirvana baby looks like the guy out of Busted...
And this year he turns 23 which means he is another one of those annoying people born in the 90s here to torture us! The album Nevermind was released in 1991.

James Bourne, Nirvana, Nevermind, Baby cover, album cover, Spence Elden, The 90s, 1990s, Funny, Pictures than make you feel old,


42. Bevis & Butthead are now pushing 40...
It was back in 1993 that the two teenage delinquents first started watching music videos on MTV which means by now they are both approaching midlife.

Bevis & Butthead, The 90s, 1990s, Funny, Pictures than make you feel old,


41. 15 years ago we were all screaming "Whassup" down the phone...
Budweiser's famous slogan aired in 1999 and had everyone poking their tongues out and greeting people like a demented frog. True.



40. We didn't have a clue when it came to fashion...
Come on, hands up - at the start of the 90s we all owned one of these bad boys. In 2012 the shell suit was voted the worst fashion item of the last 50 years.

Shell suits, tracksuits, fashion, 90s fashion, The 90s, 1990s, Funny, Pictures than make you feel old,


39. For 20 years we've been hoping Eva Herzigova would say "Hello boys" to us...
One of the most iconic advertisements ever and still stands the test of time (in more ways than one) caused it's fair share of car crashes when this billboard started to appear in 1994.

Hello Boys, Wonderbra, Eva Herzigova, Adverts, The 90s, 1990s, Funny, Pictures than make you feel old,


38. Matthew Le Tissier scored goals like this but it wasn't enough to play for England...
In the mid 90s we were used to seeing the Southampton legend regularly score goals that Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo would be proud of. Not the England manager though, he preferred Carlton Palmer.



37. Oh, and Le Tiss shagged Marylin from Home & Away...
Long before Emily Symons bounced into Emmerdale, she captured our hearts as ditzy Marylin with the big boobs in the Aussie soap 25 years ago! But what were the writers thinking when they hooked her up with  Donald Fisher aka Flat Head?!


Home & Away, Marylin, Emily Symons, Donald Fisher, The 90s, 1990s, Funny, Pictures than make you feel old,

 
36. Our Friends have got a little older...
Friends was a worldwide smash but was it really 20 years ago that they first graced our TV screens? No wonder they look a little older these days!


Friends, The 90s, 1990s, Funny, Pictures than make you feel old,

35. K-Ci denied he was going to marry Mary J. Blige on The Word...
Back in 1995 Jodeci were huge and when this interview went out on Channel 4's The Word, Mary J. Blige was none too happy.




34. And this is what Jodeci look like today...
If ever their was a poster campaign boy for not taking drugs then K-Ci is it. It's fair to say that the years have not been kind to the Jodeci boys.

K-Ci, Jodeci, Jodeci now, drugs, The 90s, 1990s, Funny, Pictures than make you feel old,


33. Kids from our favourite TV shows are now making sex tapes...
When Elizabeth Berkley got her kit off in Showgirls we all desperately hoped that Kelly Kapowski from our favourite 90s show Saved By The Bell might follow suit one day. We 100% hoped it would be Screech, who is now 37 by the way!


Screech, Sex Tape, Saved by the Bell, Dustin Diamond, The 90s, 1990s, Funny, Pictures than make you feel old,

32. Super Mario World rocked our world 24 years ago...
In a world where gamers play against other players from around the world it is hard to believe that we ever got so excited about graphics like this!



31. Oasis and Blur went head to head in the battle of Britpop two decades ago...
Was it really 19 years ago that two of the UK's finest ever bands released Country House and Roll With It in the same week to fight it out for the number one spot?

Oasis, Blur, Britpop, Country House, Roll With It, The 90s, 1990s, Funny, Pictures than make you feel old,


30. You probably owned a pair of Reebok Pumps...
And nearly 25 years later you still don't have a clue what the pump is actually for other than it looked cool and cost a fortune. If only we'd just stuck with the Air Jordan's.

Reebok Pumps, 90s Fashion, The 90s, 1990s, Funny, Pictures than make you feel old,


29. Kevin the teenager is now probably married...
Harry Enfield's creation had all of our parents giving us knowing looks every time Kevin sulked his way on to TV in the early 90s.

 


28. Google was born in 1998...
Which basically means we actually lived through a period when if we wanted to find something out we had three options: 1) The Yellow Pages 2) Call directory enquiries or 3) Get off our lazy arses!

Google, The 90s, 1990s, Funny, Pictures than make you feel old,


27. Hollyoaks is 20 years old next year...
And Nick Pritchard who has played Tony Hutchinson since the first episode in 1995 turns 40 next year! He is officially a modern-day Ian Beale.

Hollyoaks, Nick Pritchard, Tony Hutchinson, The 90s, 1990s, Funny, Pictures than make you feel old,


26. Twenty-four years later and if you still know every word...
Will Smith was 21-years-old when The Fresh Prince of Bel Air first appeared in 1990s and the tune has become as iconic as Cheers was for your parents. That's right, you're now in that place.




PART 2 COMING SOON!!!